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Orlando Ashford's Latest Statement - Humanitarian crisis

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This is a powerful statement.  It is unconscionable what has transpired with the Zaandem.  Thank you to Panama for your bravery and compassionate decision. Hope that our country makes the same decision to provide mercy.  Prayers for all those on board.  

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I just emailed our two Florida senators and the Florida governor asking for help to get these last cruise guests safely home and to get those ill the aid they need.  Florida has long been the cruise capital of the world and needs to step up and help, not hinder these people.  It is the humanitarian and good business way to act now.

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, SkystheLimit said:

This is a powerful statement.  It is unconscionable what has transpired with the Zaandem.  Thank you to Panama for your bravery and compassionate decision. Hope that our country makes the same decision to provide mercy.  Prayers for all those on board.  

 

Yes, powerful. And beautifully written.

 

 

7 minutes ago, St Pete Cruiser said:

I just emailed our two Florida senators and the Florida governor asking for help to get these last cruise guests safely home and to get those ill the aid they need.  Florida has long been the cruise capital of the world and needs to step up and help, not hinder these people.  It is the humanitarian and good business way to act now.

Good move!  I hope others do the same.

Edited by 3rdGenCunarder
typo

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I am so moved by this statement by Orlando Ashford and the plight of these vulnerable passengers and crew that I emailed my non Florida congressman , President Trump and the Mayor of Ft Lauderdale.

I don’t know about others, but our family will no longer use Ft Lauderdale , FLL , or  Port Everglades as our cruise or vacation destination if Zaandam and Rotterdam are turned away .

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9 minutes ago, auntem said:

I am so moved by this statement by Orlando Ashford and the plight of these vulnerable passengers and crew that I emailed my non Florida congressman , President Trump and the Mayor of Ft Lauderdale.

I don’t know about others, but our family will no longer use Ft Lauderdale , FLL , or  Port Everglades as our cruise or vacation destination if Zaandam and Rotterdam are turned away .

So without any consideration towards the local areas ability to handle this; with hospitals nearing capacity, your answer is to be vindictive towards the city?  You may want to look up the number of cases in Broward and just how bad the situation is becoming.  Did you take this into consideration? Mr. Ashfords plea IS moving. It does not offer solutions or recognition of what the local medical community is up against. If you feel the best you can do in this situation is to refuse to visit Port Everglades in the future, so be it. That is your choice. 

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That's an extremely well written and heartfelt blog, but I think people might be piling on a little unfairly.  FLL/Miami have been mentioned a lot because they are the closest major U.S. ports, but are they really the best choice?  Is it really the best idea to port these ships, especially Zaandam, in Florida's highest population center?  I don't know.  Just thinking out loud.  Regardless, it might be a little unfair to bash FLL without being privy to all the discussion and facts involved.  JMHO.  

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Posted (edited)

I enjoyed reading this and absolutely feel these poor passengers and crew need assistance, care, and to disembark the ships ASAP. I was left puzzled though. I'm not sure why getting to Fort Lauderdale seemed to be the only option. ZAANDAM was on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal. Why not sail to San Diego or Los Angeles to disembark? Why wait days for permission to transit the canal in order to proceed to Fort Lauderdale? If they had sailed immediately to San Diego they would likely be there by now. Perhaps I'm missing a piece of the puzzle or there is some other reason I'm not aware of, but I just find it odd. Living in Fort Lauderdale I can tell you the residents are not keen on a ship of sick people docking here (who would be?). South Florida is already a hot spot for COVID and cruise ships are responsible for some of that. I'm not saying we shouldn't take them in, but I just don't understand why Fort Lauderdale seems to have been the only option.

 

This is a good link from Port Everglades and Broward County about some of the precautions being considered and procedures that are in place.  

 

https://www.porteverglades.net/zaandam-update 

Edited by eroller

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"and allow us to come in so our guests can go straight to the airport for flights home."

 

It seems that more interest in helping might be found if Orlando and HAL would change this way of thinking. Would it not be  more prudent that anyone leaving either ship be tested and sent into quarantine? Or for medical assistance, as needed? Definitely not directly to an airport.

 

George

 

 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, VintageGeo said:

"and allow us to come in so our guests can go straight to the airport for flights home."

 

It seems that more interest in helping might be found if Orlando and HAL would change this way of thinking. Would it not be  more prudent that anyone leaving either ship be tested and sent into quarantine? Or for medical assistance, as needed? Definitely not directly to an airport.

I think the "straight to the airport" part is to reassure Floridians and the important part to HAL is to have the passengers allowed to disembark.

Edited by Wehwalt

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Posted (edited)

What I would have liked to seen in his statement would be them taking some responsibility.  The Diamond Princess fiasco was in Feb.  As was the HAL Maasdam having trouble finding a place to disembark.  The first passenger on the Grand Princess died March 4th, meaning they knew there was a ship in Mexico with the virus spreading in Feb.  There were more than a handful of ships that were denied docking around the world before March 7th.  In retrospect it’s pretty obvious they should have been cancelling all cruises out of an abundance of caution.  But hindsight is 20/20.  And yes, the crew are the folks stuck out there and they did nothing wrong.

 

What would make everyone feel better is to put out a plan in the statement.  Perhaps say, HAL will charter planes to take passengers back to their home states and countries.  Those living in Florida will have rental cars waiting for them at the port and they are expected to drive home and self quarantine for 14 days.  Ambulance planes will be ready to fly very sick passengers and crew to somewhere that has the capacity to give them wonderful health care, and HAL will foot the part of the bill not covered by insurance.

Edited by charmed1959

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In a crisis we are behaving more like savages than Christians, Jews etc.  What does the Bible say about caring for lepers.  Government should take the reigns and help HAL find an appropriate place to deck quickly and safely.  There is too much "not in my backyard" thinking.

 

 

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I've been listening to the Broward County Commissioners meeting being held today in Ft. Lauderdale.  The Carnival Corporation representative said they plan on putting "well" guests from England/Ireland on a charter flight out, Europeans on another charter flight, Canadians on a charter flight to Toronto, Australians on a charter flight to California and then onto commercial flights to Australia.  Local well S. Florida residents will be wearing a mask and will be driven home unless they have their vehicle parked in Ft. Lauderdale.  Other U.S. residents will be given a mask and CDC instructions on self isolating and get on flights out of FLL.  The CDC doctor on the phone said temps will be taken first and armed with their masks which must remain on until they reach home and their CDC instructions, the best thing for them to do was to get home immediately and not to stay on the ship.  Those who are ill but not critical will remain on the ship is what I believe the consensus was.  There are 2 patients on the Zaandam who may not even survive until Ft. Lauderdale, and they have tried getting them med-evaced off the ship but no one has allowed that, most recently Mexico.  That would make the death count 6.  I feel badly for the families of the very critically ill patients.

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Posted (edited)

It is a longer distance to go from S. America to San Diego than to cut through the canal to Ft. Lauderdale. It was faster for them to go that way instead of coming to a port on the West coast. San Diego is further North than Florida.

Edited by sandiego1
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4 hours ago, charmed1959 said:

What I would have liked to seen in his statement would be them taking some responsibility.  The Diamond Princess fiasco was in Feb.  As was the HAL Maasdam having trouble finding a place to disembark.  The first passenger on the Grand Princess died March 4th, meaning they knew there was a ship in Mexico with the virus spreading in Feb.  There were more than a handful of ships that were denied docking around the world before March 7th.  In retrospect it’s pretty obvious they should have been cancelling all cruises out of an abundance of caution.  But hindsight is 20/20.  And yes, the crew are the folks stuck out there and they did nothing wrong.

 

What would make everyone feel better is to put out a plan in the statement.  Perhaps say, HAL will charter planes to take passengers back to their home states and countries.  Those living in Florida will have rental cars waiting for them at the port and they are expected to drive home and self quarantine for 14 days.  Ambulance planes will be ready to fly very sick passengers and crew to somewhere that has the capacity to give them wonderful health care, and HAL will foot the part of the bill not covered by insurance.

Yes, the cruise started March7, when the announcement came on the 10th the captain should have turned around  back to Buenos Aires and have everyone flown home, that would have saved lives..

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Posted (edited)

There is an article on apnews.com with the title “Florida docking plan in te works for ill-fated cruise sips” that talks about these two boats.  In it it states ‘Despite pleas for help, commissioners appeared frustrated with the company when they learned that another Carnival-owned ship with people presenting flu-like symptoms was sailing toward Fort Lauderdale and scheduled to arrive in April.’

 

I guess we cannot interpret these incidents in isolation.  After the Diamond, Grand, and Ruby Princesses, if I were in FL government, I would want some strong ironclad guarantees from CCL before allowing another of its boats to dock.  I presume something of this sort will eventually be negotiated.

 

Which additional CCL boat is the ap news article talking about?

Edited by tcc8v
Mistyping

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10 minutes ago, tcc8v said:

There is an article on apnews.com with the title “Florida docking plan in te works for ill-fated cruise sips” that talks about these two boats.  In it it states ‘Despite pleas for help, commissioners appeared frustrated with the company when they learned that another Carnival-owned ship with people presenting flu-like symptoms was sailing toward Fort Lauderdale and scheduled to arrive in April.’

 

I guess we cannot interpret these incidents in isolation.  After the Diamond, Grand, and Ruby Princesses, if I were in FL government, I would want some strong ironclad guarantees from CCL before allowing another of its boats to dock.  I presume something of this sort will eventually be negotiated.

 

Which additional CCL boat is the ap news article talking about?

 

Coral Princess

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37 minutes ago, Sir PMP said:

Yes, the cruise started March7, when the announcement came on the 10th the captain should have turned around  back to Buenos Aires and have everyone flown home, that would have saved lives..

 

Optimal in hindsight. It would have been the thing to do, absolutely.

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, eroller said:

I enjoyed reading this and absolutely feel these poor passengers and crew need assistance, care, and to disembark the ships ASAP. I was left puzzled though. I'm not sure why getting to Fort Lauderdale seemed to be the only option. ZAANDAM was on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal. Why not sail to San Diego or Los Angeles to disembark? Why wait days for permission to transit the canal in order to proceed to Fort Lauderdale? If they had sailed immediately to San Diego they would likely be there by now. Perhaps I'm missing a piece of the puzzle or there is some other reason I'm not aware of, but I just find it odd. Living in Fort Lauderdale I can tell you the residents are not keen on a ship of sick people docking here (who would be?). South Florida is already a hot spot for COVID and cruise ships are responsible for some of that. I'm not saying we shouldn't take them in, but I just don't understand why Fort Lauderdale seems to have been the only option.

 

This is a good link from Port Everglades and Broward County about some of the precautions being considered and procedures that are in place.  

 

https://www.porteverglades.net/zaandam-update 

The Port of San Diego is closing to cruise ship passenger disembarkation on Apr. 1, 2020.  Cruise ships may come into the port for supplies, but no one is permitted to disembark.  Let’s not forget about our military too.  There is a fleet of military ships that may need to come home to San Diego due to the Covid-19 too.  Please pray for our military too.  

 

I pray for everyone on the Z & R for their safe return home, but the Captain made the right choice to go East through the Panama Canal.  

Edited by Lyndonn

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Lyndonn said:

The Port of San Diego is closing to cruise ship passenger disembarkation on Apr. 1, 2020.  There is a fleet of military ships that may need to come home to San Diego due to the Covid-19.  Please pray for our military too.  

 

I pray for everyone on the Z & R for their safe return home, but the Captain made the right choice to go East through the Panama Canal.  

 

 

We have 1137 confirmed cases on COVID in Broward County (Fort Lauderdale) and 14 deaths so far.  About double of San Diego County.  Florida has 6090 cases and 77 deaths thus far.  While the ship needs to go somewhere, I'm not sure Florida is the right place and I"m also not sure going through the Canal was the right decision.  .

 

I do feel these poor people need to disembark somewhere, but of course no one wants to take the responsibility and everybody feels someplace else is better than where they live.  We in South Florida have already taken in many ill crew and passengers from various cruise ships.  The Broward County Board of Commissioners will vote tomorrow on this, after HAL delivers a detailed plan of action.  I can tell you there is plenty of pushback and concern from Broward County residents, as there would be from anywhere this ship was planning to dock.  

Edited by eroller

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, eroller said:

 

 

We have 1137 confirmed cases on COVID in Broward County (Fort Lauderdale) and 14 deaths so far.  About double of San Diego County.  Florida has 6090 cases and 77 deaths thus far.  While the ship needs to go somewhere, I'm not sure Florida is the right place and I"m also not sure going through the Canal was the right decision.  .

 

I do feel these poor people need to disembark somewhere, but of course no one wants to take the responsibility and everybody feels someplace else is better than where they live.  We in South Florida have already taken in many ill crew and passengers from cruise ships.  The Broward County Board of Commissioners will vote tomorrow on this, after HAL delivers a detailed plan of action.  

NIMBY?  This is one of those situations where the choice is between a bad choice and a worse choice.  There is no choice which satisfies all.  Time to show some compassion and accept that some will have to act to help these people. FLL is probably the best of a bad set of choices.

Edited by RocketMan275

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, RocketMan275 said:

NIMBY?  This is one of those situations where the choice is between a bad choice and a worse choice.  There is no choice which satisfies all.  Time to show some compassion and accept that some will have to act to help these people. FLL is probably the best of a bad set of choices.


 

I live here and I’m happy to take these people in with the right plan in place, but is FLL the best choice based on our current situation and already being a hotbed of COVID, probably not.  I would to know why you think it’s the best choice, better than Tampa, Port Canaveral, Jacksonville, Galveston, and Houston for instance.  Maybe Mobile?  Also as I've mentioned before, Broward and Dade Counties have shown plenty of compassion already, to many ill cruise ship passengers and crew.  Has your community?  Those in other places are very quick to point the finger ... until it shows up on their doorstep.  Then I guarantee things change, so please don't preach to me about compassion and NIMBY.   

Edited by eroller

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